What Your Editor Wishes You Knew Before You Submit Your Manuscript

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Please join me in welcoming guest blogger Haley Sulich to The Educated Writer!

As a freelance editor, there are many things I wish writers knew before they invested their time and money into an editor. As an author, there are many things I wish I knew before I hired my first book editor. To save you from the stresses that hiring an editor may bring, I’m going to touch base on the things I wish my clients knew before hiring an editor, along with what I wish I would’ve done before hiring my first editor.

What Your Editor Wishes You Knew:

1) Do NOT hire a proofreader after you’ve finished writing your manuscript
I’ve come across many writers who have finished writing their manuscripts and are ready to move on to the next stage in the editing process. What stage do many move on to?


What many writers fail to realize is that proofreading is not the first step in the editing process.
When writers hear the word “editor,” they often think of grammar-based edits. Before I became a freelance editor, I used to think the same thing. Years later, I learned that there are three types of editors, and each type of editor helps move the book along to the next stage.

The first stage of editing is developmental editing (also known as content editing). Developmental editing focuses on the content of your manuscript instead of your grammar and spelling. During this stage, your content editor will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript in the areas of structure, plot, world building, character development, pacing, and other big-picture elements. This stage ensures that your story is as strong as it can be before you move on to the grammar and spelling of your book. Content editing tends to consist of two to three rounds of feedback; sometimes more.

Once you are confident that your story is as strong as it can be, it’s time to move on to the copyediting stage. As mentioned previously, many writers try to skip the editing stages and go straight to proofreading. The stage most commonly skipped is copyediting. However, copyediting is the most important stage of editing when it comes to focusing on grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Whereas proofreading only corrects your punctuation and typos, copyediting goes into much more depth by focusing on smoothing out your sentences to help your writing flow better, correcting phrases that may have been
misused, fixing your spelling and typos, and correcting your punctuation. Copyediting tends to be more expensive than proofreading, but copyediting will enhance your writing much more than proofreading will.

Even though proofreading doesn’t go into as much depth as copyediting, proofreading is an
essential step for finalizing and polishing your manuscript for publication. Chances are your copyeditor may have missed a few spelling or punctuation errors. It happens—we all make mistakes. Sometimes the writer may have accidentally created a typo or punctuation error when reviewing their copyeditor’s feedback. That’s why it is important to hire a proofreader because your proofreader will catch any errors that may have slipped through the previous stages. If you skip even one of these stages, you most likely will need to go back and start over by investing your time and money into the editor you should’ve hired first.

Haley Sulich is a developmental editor and founder of the Write Plan book editing company. Her first novel, Crimson Ash, will be published in May. You can learn more about her and her writing at haleysulich.com. She also reviews books at bookshelfbliss.com

You can continue reading this six-page article by Haley on Saturday, January 27, 2018, via my subscribers only Resource Library. In the article, she will go over eight more things, in detail, that your editor wishes you knew before you submit your manuscript. To sign-up, so you can continue reading this amazing article, click the picture below.